Playing God

Borg Rashid, Markaz Rasheed, El Beheira Governorate, Egypt

To her feet, she asked: “Why do you keep dragging me to this place?”

“Why do you keep punishing me?”, she enquired of her heart.

She was again on her way to Borg Rashid, the place where they used to meet and on which stones they used to carve a heart with their initials. Back then, it stood for hope for the future, because, coincidentally, it was also where the boats crossing illegally over to Europe chugged out to sea from.

They loved each other very much, but they couldn’t marry straight away. First, he had to raise enough money to be able to start a new family with her, as well as win her parents over. To see that happen, he resolved to pay them a visit. She tried to dissuade him from making the perilous journey by sea that traveling to where her parents lived entailed, but he was rather adamant in his decision and no amount of begging seemed to make a difference. Just the price of the boat ride should have worked as a deterrent, for he had to spend all the money he had been saving for the wedding—plus some he had to borrow from a friend—to get on one of those tubs headed to Europe.

She was heartbroken when he left, because she knew she might never see him again. She tried to stay optimistic by telling herself bad things only happened to other people, but then, just a few days later, she learned that the boat he had been on had capsized and that he wasn’t among the survivors.

Ever since, not a single day had passed in which she hadn’t returned to Borg Rashid. She liked to sit down in front of the sea and let out a long string of oaths and expletives to alleviate her pain.

“Why do you only claim the lives of those who cannot afford to traverse you but on crappy boats and not of those who are sailing onboard plush yachts?” she asked the sea while boiling with rage upon spotting a luxurious yacht serenely gliding on the sooth surface of its calm waters.

“You should make them drown as well!” she yelled at the sea.

And then, the weirdest thing happened: a huge wave rose and tossed the yacht. It was as if Poseidon had been listening to her and had decided to grant her her wish. She then pointed at another yacht, which was also miraculously swallowed by the sea. She had to admit she was deriving a sadistic pleasure from using her newly discovered powers of destruction. Suddenly, however, yachts started to pop up out of the blue, and before she could do anything to make them disappear, the number of yachts at sea had soared so much, that the sea had simply vanished from sight.


Written by Amr Ibrahim.